Many Ukrainian singers, actors, painters and composers are known not only in Ukraine but also in the world. Ukrainians are known popularly as a musical people. Ukrainian music has a long history. During the Middle Ages in Ukraine, three kinds of music developed. The first was music performed during festivals and banquets at the courts of the princes and boyars. Wandering musicians and actors, the skomorokhy, entertained their listeners with the songs and acrobatic tricks. The second type of music is church music. It came to Ukraine from Byzantium and Bulgaria. Kiev became the centre of the development of religious music in Ukraine. The third major type of music consisted of folk songs. Songs were connected with calendar changes: the New Year carols, rusalka songs and so on.
Now there are many more types of music in Ukraine: rock music, pop music and others. Ukrainian ballet companies, symphony orchestras, choirs and solo performers often appear on tours in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
The oldest paintings in Ukraine are frescoes and icons. The first portraits, which were used not for religious purposes appeared in the 17th century. They included mainly portraits of Cossack hetmans and officers. Many Ukrainian painters studied at the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. After that many of them stayed in Russia and continued their career there. The exception was T. Shevchenko. He devoted most of his paintings (like his writings) to Ukrainian interests. He is considered to be the father of modern Ukrainian painting. T. Shevchenko painted numerous portraits, self-portrait, and landscapes. Besides T. Shevchenko, Ukraine has many famous painters, like I Repin, I. Kramskoi, M. Pymonenko and others.
Ukrainian theatre started also with skomorokhy. The further development of Ukrainian theatre was influenced by European medieval theatre, the Renaissance and classicism. Ukrainian theatre became popular during the 19th century. The first Ukrainian-language plays were staged by Poltava Free Theatre in 1819 Many Ukrainian landlords organized serf theatres at their estates. In their theatres Ukrainian plays were performed. The times of the Soviet rule were not easy for Ukrainian theatre. Over the past few years the Ukrainian theatre is on the wave of national revival. Many youth theatres, musical comedies have appeared. Among theatre stars are B. Stupka, A. Rohovtseva and many others.
to wander — бродить
skomorokhy — скоморохи
a choir — хор
to devote — посвящать
a serf — крепостной